Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Category Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
  The fringe of the garment of the Lord.
  The beautiful attracts the beautiful.
Leigh Hunt.    
  All the beauty of the world, ’tis but skin deep.
Ralph Venning.    
  Rare is the union of beauty and virtue.
  How goodness heightens beauty!
Hannah More.    
  Beauty draws us with a single hair.
  Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.
  Trust not too much to an enchanting face.
  All orators are dumb, when beauty pleadeth.
  Beautiful coquettes are quacks of love.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Beauty can inspire miracles.
  Beauty is a possession not our own.
  The beauty seen is partly in him who sees it.
  Beauty is a frail good.
  Beauty, the fading rainbow’s pride.
  Whatever is beautiful is also profitable.
  Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
  Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.
Michael Angelo.    
  Beauty lives with kindness.
  A flower that dies when first it begins to bud.
  Beauty doth varnish age.
  The body charms because the soul is seen.
  Beauty’s choicest mirror is an admiring eye.
J. L. Basford.    
  A heaven of charms divine Nausicaa lay.
  Beauty is Nature’s brag.
  Too fair to worship, too divine to love.
Henry Hart Milman.    
  The beautiful is never plentiful.
  Expression is the mystery of beauty.
  Mortal beauty stings while it delights.
  The beautiful is always severe.
  Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.
Charles Reade.    
  A lovely girl is above all rank.
Charles Buxton.    
  Beauty is always queen.
Joseph II.    
  Beauty vanishes; virtue is lasting.
  Beauty is a delightful prejudice.
  Accuracy is essential to beauty.
  Beauty is an accidental and transient good.
  Beauty is its own excuse for being.
  Beauty and wisdom are rarely conjoined.
Petronius Arbiter.    
        Nature was here so lavish of her store,
That she bestow’d until she had no more.
        Without the smile from partial beauty won,
O, what were man! a world without a sun!
        Beauty is truth, truth beauty—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
  The mate for beauty should be a man and not a money chest.
  A handsome woman is a jewel; a good woman is a treasure.
  I pray Thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within.
  Exquisite beauty resides rather in the female form than face, where it is also more lasting.
                        ’Tis the eternal law,
That first in beauty should be first in might.
  It is beauty that begins to please, and tenderness that completes the charm.
  The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.
  Beauty is the index of a larger fact than wisdom.
O. W. Holmes.    
        Her overpowering presence made you feel
It would not be idolatry to kneel.
  That is the best part of beauty which a picture cannot express.
  The criterion of true beauty is that it increases on examination; if false, that it lessens.
  In days of yore nothing was holy but the beautiful.
  Beauty is worse than wine; it intoxicates both the holder and the beholder.
  Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
  Oesser taught me that the ideal of beauty is simplicity and tranquillity.
  Is beauty vain because it will fade? Then are earth’s green robe and heaven’s light vain.
  What’s true beauty but fair virtue’s face,—virtue made visible in outward grace?
  Beauty is like an almanac; if it lasts a year, it is well.
Rev. T. Adam.    
  There is a self-evident axiom, that she who is born a beauty is half married.
  It is seldom that beautiful persons are otherwise of great virtue.
  Eyes raised toward heaven are always beautiful, whatever they be.
Joseph Joubert.    
  The good is always beautiful, the beautiful is good!
  Beauty, without virtue, is like a flower without perfume.
From the French.    
  In the forming of female friendships beauty seldom recommends one woman to another.
  Beauty can afford to laugh at distinctions; it is itself the greatest distinction.
  Even virtue is more fair when it appears in a beautiful person.
  There is no beauty on earth which exceeds the natural loveliness of woman.
J. Petit-Senn.    
  Beauty can give an edge to the bluntest sword.
Sir P. Sidney.    
  There is nothing that makes its way more directly to the soul than beauty.
  The most natural beauty in the world is honesty and moral truth.
  Beauty is no local deity, like the Greek and Roman gods, but omnipresent.
  There is no more potent antidote to low sensuality than the adoration of beauty.
  Beauty comes, we scarce know how, as an emanation from sources deeper than itself.
  Might but the sense of moral evil be as strong in me as is my delight in external beauty!
Dr. Arnold.    
  For beauty is the bait which with delight doth man allure, for to enlarge his kind.
  O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem, by that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
  To give pain is the tyranny,—to make happy the true empire of beauty.
        A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded,
A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded.
  In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.
  Few have borne unconsciously the spell of loveliness.
  Beauty, without kindness, dies unenjoyed and undelighting.
        Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover,
Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.
        There’s nothing that allays an angry mind
So soon as a sweet beauty.
Beaumont and Fletcher.    
        And all the carnal beauty of my wife
Is but skin-deep.
Sir Thomas Overbury.    
  Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from the eternal.
                Thou who hast
The fatal gift of beauty.
                If eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for being.
  Liking is not always the child of beauty; but whatsoever is liked, to the liker is beautiful.
Sir P. Sidney.    
  Beauty is an exquisite flower, and its perfume is virtue.
        A daughter of the gods, divinely tall,
And most divinely fair.
  We call comeliness a mischance in the first respect, which belongs principally to the face.
  The soul, by an instinct stronger than reason, ever associates beauty with truth.
        A queen devoid of beauty is not queen;
She needs the royalty of beauty’s mien.
Victor Hugo.    
  The beautiful rests on the foundations of the necessary.
        In beauty, faults conspicuous grow;
The smallest speck is seen on snow.
        ’Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on.
  Beauty is a witch, against whose charms faith melteth into blood.
  Beauty is such a fleeting blossom, how can wisdom rely upon its momentary delight?
  Beauty’s tears are lovelier than her smiles.
  Whatever beauty may be, it has for its basis order, and for its essence unity.
Father André.    
        ’Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call,
But the joint force and full result of all.
  Beauty is God’s handwriting,—a wayside sacrament.
  Beauty is the first present Nature gives to women, and the first it takes away.
  We give our best affections to the beautiful, only our second best to the useful.
  Half light, half shade, she stood a sight to make an old man young.
  All beauty does not inspire love. Some please the sight without captivating the affections.
  Unity and simplicity are the two true sources of beauty. Supreme beauty resides in God.
  Even beauty may present a prism wearying to the eye.
Prince de Ligne.    
  Such another peerless queen only could her mirror show.
  Beauty and health are the chief sources of happiness.
  Beauty is a beam from heaven that dazzles blind our reason.
  Beauty is but a flower which wrinkles will devour.
Thomas Nash.    
  What delights us in visible beauty is the invisible.
Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.    
  True features make the beauty of a face, and true proportions the beauty of architecture.
  An appearance of delicacy, and even of fragility, is almost essential to beauty.
  Is beauty beautiful, or is it only our eyes that make it so?
  Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night, as a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear.
  Beauty is at once the ultimate and the highest aim of art.
  It is impossible that beauty should ever distinctly appreciate itself.
  If there is a fruit that can be eaten raw, it is beauty.
Alphonse Karr.    
  Rarely do we meet in one combined, a beauteous body and a virtuous mind.
  Beauty itself doth itself persuade the eyes of men without an orator.
  In the recognition of beauty, the eye takes the most delight in color.
  Lord Bacon makes beauty to consist of grace and motion.
Lady Montagu.    
  Venus, thy eternal sway all the race of men obey.
  Beautiful works do not intoxicate, but they enchant.
  Beauties, whether male or female, are generally the most untractable people of all others.
  Beauty intoxicates the eye, as wine does the body; both are morally fatal if indulged.
J. G. Saxe.    
  Good nature will always supply the absence of beauty; but beauty cannot supply the absence of good nature.
  ’T is a powerful sex; they were too strong for the first, the strongest, and the wisest man that was.
  Beauty or unbecomingness is of more force to draw or deter invitation than any discourses which can be made to them.
  You may keep your beauty and your health, unless you destroy them yourself, or discourage them to stay with you, by using them ill.
Sir W. Temple.    
  Beauty is nothing else but a just accord and mutual harmony of the members, animated by a healthful constitution.
  You may not, cannot, appropriate beauty. It is the wealth of the eye, and a cat may gaze upon a king.
Theodore Parker.    
  The beautiful is a manifestation of secret laws of Nature, which, but for this appearance, had been forever concealed from us.
  The very first discovery of beauty strikes the mind with an inward joy, and spreads a cheerfulness and delight through all its faculties.
  Beauty and sadness always go together. Nature thought Beauty too rich to go forth upon the earth without a meet alloy.
George MacDonald.    
  What is really beautiful needs no adorning. We do not grind down the pearl upon a polishing stone.
  Man has still more desire for beauty than knowledge of it; hence the caprices of the world.
X. Doudan.    
  As amber attracts a straw, so does beauty admiration, which only lasts while the warmth continues.
Robert Burton.    
  Though color be the lowest of all the constituent parts of beauty, yet it is vulgarly the most striking.
Joseph Spence.    
  Beauty deceives women in making them establish on an ephemeral power the pretensions of a whole life.
  Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.
  It is the saddest of all things that even one human soul should dimly perceive the beauty that is ever around us, a perpetual benediction.
Mrs. L. M. Child.    
  Expression is of more consequence than shape; it will light up features otherwise heavy.
Sir C. Bell.    
  Female beauties are as fickle in their faces as in their minds; though casualties should spare them, age brings in a necessity of decay.
  Every trait of beauty may be traced to some virtue, as to innocence, candor, generosity, modesty, and heroism.
St. Pierre.    
        Do not idolatrize; beauty’s a flower,
Which springs and withers almost in an hour.
Wm. Smith.    
  If thou marry beauty, thou bindest thyself all thy life for that which, perchance, will neither last nor please thee one year.
  If virtue accompany it, it is the heart’s paradise; if vice associate it, it is the soul’s purgatory.
  We do love beauty at first sight; and we do cease to love it, if it is not accompanied by amiable qualities.
Lydia Maria Child.    
        Such harmony in motion, speech and air,
That without fairness, she was more than fair.
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is when unadorn’d adorn’d the most.
  Beauty is an outward gift which is seldom despised except by those to whom it has been refused.
        Beauty is Nature’s coin, must not be hoarded,
But must be current, and the good thereof
Consists in mutual and partaken bliss.
  The beauty that addresses itself to the eyes is only the spell of the moment; the eye of the body is not always that of the soul.
Georges Sand.    
  Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for instance.
                    The beautiful seems right
By force of beauty, and the feeble wrong
Because of weakness.
E. B. Browning.    
        There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple:
If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with’t.
  The first distinction among men, and the first consideration that gave one precedence over another, was doubtless the advantage of beauty.
  Naught under heaven so strongly doth allure the sense of man, and all his mind possess, as beauty’s love-bait.
  Love that has nothing but beauty to keep it in good health is short-lived, and apt to have ague fits.
  A beautiful woman is the hell of the soul, the purgatory of the purse, and the paradise of the eyes.
  The dower of great beauty has always been misfortune, since happiness and beauty do not agree together.
  Where the mouth is sweet and the eyes intelligent, there is always the look of beauty, with a right heart.
Leigh Hunt.    
  No woman can be handsome by the force of features alone, any more than she can be witty only by the help of speech.
  The sense of beauty is intuitive, and beauty itself is all that inspires pleasure without, and aloof from, and even contrarily to interest.
  A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; it is the finest of the fine arts.
  The perception of the beautiful is gradual, and not a lightning revelation; it requires not only time, but some study.
  The very beautiful rarely love at all. Those precious images are placed above the reach of the passions.
  Beauty is a great gift of heaven; not for the purpose of female vanity, but a great gift for one who loves, and wishes to be beloved.
Miss Edgeworth.    
  Methinks a being that is beautiful becometh more so as it looks on beauty, the eternal beauty of undying things.
  Affect not to despise beauty, no one is freed from its dominion; but regard is not a pearl of price, it is fleeting as the bow in the clouds.
  Where rivulets dance their wayward round, and beauty born of murmuring sound shall pass into her face.
  The common foible of women who have been handsome is to forget that they are no longer so.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Beauty attracts us men, but if, like an armed magnet it is pointed with gold or silver beside, it attracts with tenfold power.
  What place is so rugged and so homely that there is no beauty, if you only have a sensibility to beauty?
  Thus was beauty sent from heaven, the lovely ministress of truth and good in this dark world.
  Beauty, like truth and justice, lives within us; like virtue, and like moral law, it is a companion of the soul.
  That is true beauty which has not only a substance, but a spirit; a beauty that we must intimately know, justly to appreciate.
  O human beauty, what a dream art thou, that we should cast our life and hopes away on thee!
Barry Cornwall.    
  Every good picture is the best of sermons and lectures. The sense informs the soul. Whatever you have, have beauty.
Sydney Smith.    
  Beautiful as sweet! and young as beautiful! and soft as young! and gay as soft! and innocent as gay!
  Beauty hath no lustre save when it gleameth through the crystal web that purity’s fine fingers weave for it.
  By cultivating the beautiful, we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers; by doing good, we foster those already belonging to humanity.
  Lovely sweetness is the noblest power of woman, and is far fitter to prevail by parley than by battle.
Sir P. Sidney.    
  That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.
Ninon de Lenclos.    
  To cultivate the sense of the beautiful is but one, and the most of effectual, of the ways of cultivating an appreciation of the Divine goodness.
        Not more the rose, the queen of flowers,
Outblushes all the bloom of bower,
Than she unrivall’d grace discloses;
The sweetest rose, where all are roses.
  Exalt your passion by directing and settling it upon an object the due contemplation of whose loveliness may cure perfectly all hurts received from mortal beauty.
  A beautiful face fires our imagination, and we see higher virtue and intelligence in it than we can detect in its owner’s head or heart when we descend to calm inspection.
Charles Reade.    
  There is more or less of pathos in all true beauty. The delight it awakens has an indefinable, and, as it were, luxurious sadness, which is perhaps one element of its might.
  The greatest truths are wronged if not linked with beauty; and they win their way most surely and deeply into the soul when arrayed in this their natural and fit attire.
  Yet even this hath this inconvenience in it—that it makes its possessor neglect the furnishing of the mind with nobleness. Nay, it oftentimes is a cause that the mind is ill.
  The sense of beauty enters into the highest philosophy, as in Plato. The highest poet must be a philosopher, accomplished like Dante, or intuitive like Shakespeare.
        O, if so much beauty doth reveal
Itself in every vein of life and nature,
How beautiful must be the Source itself,
The Ever Bright One.
        Mark her majestic fabric; she’s a temple
Sacred by birth, and built by hands divine;
Her soul’s the Deity that lodges there;
Nor is the pile unworthy of the God.
  It is only through the morning gate of the beautiful that you can penetrate into the realm of knowledge. That which we feel here as beauty we shall one day know as truth.
  A look of intelligence in men is what regularity of features is in women; it is a style of beauty to which the most vain may aspire.
La Bruyère.    
        There’s beauty all around our paths, if but our watchful eyes
Can trace it ’midst familiar things, and through their lowly guise.
Mrs. Hemans.    
  There should be, methinks, as little merit in loving a woman for her beauty as in loving a man for his prosperity; both being equally subject to change.
  Beauty in a modest woman is like fire at a distance, or like a sharp sword; neither doth the one burn, nor the other wound those that come not too near them.
  Every year of my life I grow more convinced that it is wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and good and dwell as little as possible on the dark and the base.
  In the true mythology, Love is an immortal child, and Beauty leads him as a guide; nor can we express a deeper sense than when we say, Beauty is the pilot of the young soul.
        True beauty dwells in deep retreats,
  Whose veil is unremoved
Till heart with heart in concord beats,
  And the lover is beloved.
  The divine right of beauty is the only divine right a man can acknowledge, and a pretty woman the only tyrant he is not authorized to resist.
  The useful encourages itself; for the multitude produce it, and no one can dispense with it: the beautiful must be encouraged: for few can set it forth, and many need it.
  He who cannot see the beautiful side is a bad painter, a bad friend, a bad lover; he cannot lift his mind and his heart so high as goodness.
  Beauty is the mark God sets on virtue. Every natural action is graceful. Every heroic act is also decent, and causes the place and the bystanders to shine.
  Something of the severe hath always been appertaining to order and to grace; and the beauty that is not too liberal is sought the most ardently, and loved the longest.
        Who doth not feel, until his failing sight
Faints into dimness with its own delight,
His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess,
The might—the majesty of Loveliness?
        Beauty! thou pretty plaything! dear deceit,
That steals so softly o’er the stripling’s heart
And gives it a new pulse unknown before!
  He will always see the most beauty whose affections are warmest and most exercised, whose imagination is the most powerful, and who has most accustomed himself to attend to the objects by which he is surrounded.
Lord Jeffrey.    
        The essence of all beauty, I call love,
The attribute, the evidence, and end,
The consummation to the inward sense
Of beauty apprehended from without,
I still call love.
E. B. Browning.    
  An agreeable figure and winning manner, which inspire affection without love, are always new. Beauty loses its relish, the graces never, after the longest acquaintance, they are no less agreeable than at first.
Henry Home.    
  Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt and cannot last; and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of countenance; but if it light well, it makes virtues shine and vice blush.
  The contemplation of beauty in nature, in art, in literature, in human character, diffuses through our being a soothing and subtle joy, by which the heart’s anxious and aching cares are softly smiled away.
  Beauty is the true prerogative of women, and so peculiarly their own, that our sex, though naturally requiring another sort of feature, is never in its lustre but when puerile and beardless, confused and mixed with theirs.
  Contrast increases the splendor of beauty, but it disturbs its influence; it adds to its attractiveness, but diminishes its power.
  Beauty is a fairy; sometimes she hides herself in a flower-cup, or under a leaf, or creeps into the old ivy, and plays hide-and-seek with the sunbeams, or haunts some ruined spot, or laughs out of a bright young face.
G. A. Sala.    
  To make the cunning artless, tame the rude, subdue the haughty, shake the undaunted soul; yea, put a bridle in the lion’s mouth, and lead him forth as a domestic cur, these are the triumphs of all-powerful beauty.
Joanna Baillie.    
  How much wit, good-nature, indulgences, how many good offices and civilities, are required among friends to accomplish in some years what a lovely face or a fine hand does in a minute!
La Bruyère.    
  An Indian philosopher, being asked what were, according to his opinion, the two most beautiful things in the universe, answered: The starry heavens above our heads, and the feeling of duty in our hearts.
  Happily there exists more than one kind of beauty. There is the beauty of infancy, the beauty of youth, the beauty of maturity, and, believe me, ladies and gentlemen, the beauty of age.
G. A. Sala.    
  No better cosmetics than a severe temperance and purity, modesty and humility, a gracious temper and calmness of spirit; no true beauty without the signature of these graces in the very countenance.
John Ray.    
  We may say of agreeableness, as distinct from beauty, that it consists in a symmetry of which we know not the rules, and a secret conformity of the features to each other, as also to the air and complexion of the person.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  The most natural beauty in the world is honesty and moral truth. For all beauty is truth. True features make the beauty of a face, and true proportions the beauty of architecture; as true measures that of harmony and music.
  In all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty. No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in its lobes, no branch in its symmetry.
  How intoxicating is the triumph of beauty, and how right it is to name it queen of the universe! How many courtiers, how many slaves, have submitted to it! But, alas! why must it be that what flatters our senses almost always deceives our souls?
Madame de Surin.    
  There is no more potent antidote to low sensuality than the adoration of beauty. All the higher arts of design are essentially chaste, without respect of the object. They purify the thoughts, as tragedy, according to Aristotle, purifies the passions.
  Sometimes there are living beings in nature as beautiful as in romance. Reality surpasses imagination; and we see breathing, brightening, and moving before our eyes sights dearer to our hearts than any we ever beheld in the land of sleep.
Jane Austen.    
  Beauty is a dangerous property, tending to corrupt the mind of the wife, though it soon loses its influence over the husband. A figure agreeable and engaging, which inspires affection, without the ebriety of love, is a much safer choice.
Henry Home.    
  Beauty has been the delight and torment of the world ever since it began. The philosophers have felt its influence so sensibly that almost every one of them has left some saying or other which intimates that he knew too well the power of it.
  Beauty too often sacrifices to fashion. The spirit of fashion is not the beautiful, but the wilful; not the graceful, but the fantastic; not the superior in the abstract, but the superior in the worst of all concretes,—the vulgar.
Leigh Hunt.    
  One of the old philosophers calls beauty a silent fraud, because it imposes upon us without the help of language. But I think Carneades spoke as much like a philosopher as any of them, though more like a lover, when he called it “royalty without force.”
  In ourselves, rather than in material nature, lie the true source and life of the beautiful. The human soul is the sun which diffuses light on every side, investing creation with its lovely hues, and calling forth the poetic element that lies hidden in every existing thing.
  For converse among men, beautiful persons have less need of the mind’s commending qualities. Beauty in itself is such a silent orator, that it is ever pleading for respect and liking, and by the eyes of others is ever sending to their hearts for love.
  The flower which blossoms to-day and is withered to-morrow,—is it at all more actual than the colors of the rainbow? Or rather are those less actual? Beauty is the most fleeting thing upon earth, yet immortal as the spirit from which it blooms.
De Wette.    
                Her cheek had the pale pearly pink
Of sea shells, the world’s sweetest tint, as though
She lived, one-half might deem, on robes sopp’d
In pearly dew.
  Truth is the foundation and the reason of the perfection of beauty, for of whatever stature a thing may be, it cannot be beautiful and perfect, unless it be truly what it should be, and possess truly all that it should have.
La Rochefoucauld.    
        Beauty, like ice, our footing does betray;
Who can tread sure on the smooth, slippery way?
Pleased with the surface, we glide swiftly on,
And see the dangers that we cannot shun.
        Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free!
Such sweet neglect more taketh me,
Than all the adulteries of art;
That strike mine eyes, but not my heart.
Ben Jonson.    
        Beauty, sweet love, is like the morning dew,
Whose short refresh upon tender green,
Cheers for a time, but till the sun doth show,
And straight is gone, as it had never been.
  Beauty is only truly irresistible when it shows us something less transitory than itself; when it makes us dream of that which charms life beyond the fugitive moment which seduces us. It is necessary for the soul to feel it when the senses have perceived it. The soul never wearies; the more it admires, the more it is exalted.
Mme. de Krudener.    
  Like other beautiful things in this world, its end (that of a shaft) is to be beautiful; and, in proportion to its beauty, it receives permission to be otherwise useless. We do not blame emeralds and rubies because we cannot make them into heads of hammers.
        She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
  It was a very proper answer to him who asked why any man should be delighted with beauty, that it was a question that none but a blind man could ask; since any beautiful object doth so much attract the sight of all men, that it is in no man’s power not to be pleased with it.
        *  *  *  for beauty stands
In the admiration only of weak minds
Led captive. Cease to admire, and all her plumes
Fall flat and shrink into a trivial toy,
At every sudden slighting quite abash’d.
        ’Twas not the fading charms of face
  That riveted Love’s golden chain;
It was the high celestial grace
  Of goodness that doth never wane—
Whose are the sweets that never pall,
Delicious, pure, and crowning all.
Abraham Coles.    
        A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
        Her glossy hair was clustered o’er a brow
Bright with intelligence, and fair and smooth;
Her eyebrow’s shape was like the aërial bow,
Her cheek all purple with the beam of youth,
Mounting, at times, to a transparent glow,
As if her veins ran lightning.
  Exquisite beauty resides with God. Unity and simplicity, joined together in different organs, are the principal sources of beauty. It resides in the good, the honest, and in the useful to the highest physical and intellectual degree.
  There is scarcely a single joy or sorrow within the experience of our fellow-creatures which we have not tasted; yet the belief in the good and beautiful has never forsaken us. It has been medicine to us in sickness, richness in poverty, and the best part of all that ever delighted us in health and success.
Leigh Hunt.    
        What is beauty? Not the show
Of shapely limbs and features. No.
        These are but flowers
        That have their dated hours
To breathe their momentary sweets, then go.
        ’Tis the stainless soul within
        That outshines the fairest skin.
Sir A. Hunt.    
  I am of opinion that there is nothing so beautiful but that there is something still more beautiful, of which this is the mere image and expression,—a something which can neither be perceived by the eyes, the ears, nor any of the senses; we comprehend it merely in the imagination.
  O, it is the saddest of all things that even one human soul should dimly perceive the beauty that is ever around us, “a perpetual benediction!” Nature, that great missionary of the Most High, preaches to us forever in all tones of love, and writes truth in all colors, on manuscripts illuminated with stars and flowers.
Mrs. L. M. Child.    
  Take the whole sex together, and you find that those who have the strongest possession of men’s hearts are not eminent for their beauty. You see it often happen that those who engage men to the greatest violence are such as those who are strangers to them would take to be remarkably defective for that end.
John Hughes.    
  Nothing is arbitrary, nothing is insulated in beauty. It depends forever on the necessary and the useful. The plumage of the bird, the mimic plumage of the insect, has a reason for its rich colors in the constitution of the animal. Fitness is so inseparable an accompaniment of beauty, that it has been taken for it.
  The human heart yearns for the beautiful in all ranks of life. The beautiful things that God makes are His gift to all alike. I know there are many of the poor who have fine feeling and a keen sense of the beautiful, which rusts out and dies because they are too hard pressed to procure it any gratification.
Mrs. Stowe.    
  Who has not experienced how, on near acquaintance, plainness becomes beautified, and beauty loses its charm, exactly according to the quality of the heart and mind? And from this cause am I of opinion that the want of outward beauty never disquiets a noble nature or will be regarded as a misfortune. It never can prevent people from being amiable and beloved in the highest degree.
Fredrika Bremer.    
  Those critics who, in modern times, have the most thoughtfully analyzed the laws of æsthetic beauty, concur in maintaining that the real truthfulness of all works of imagination—sculpture, painting, written fiction—is so purely in the imagination, that the artist never seeks to represent the positive truth, but the idealized image of a truth.
  Oh, talk as we may of beauty as a thing to be chiselled from marble or wrought out on canvas, speculate as we may upon its colors and outlines, what is it but an intellectual abstraction, after all? The heart feels a beauty of another kind; looking through the outward environment, it discovers a deeper and more real loveliness.
  Gaze not on beauty too much, lest it blast thee; nor too long, lest it blind thee; nor too near, lest it burn thee. If thou like it, it deceives thee; if thou love it, it disturbs thee; if thou hunt after it, it destroys thee. If virtue accompany it, it is the heart’s paradise; if vice associate it, it is the soul’s purgatory. It is the wise man’s bonfire, and the fool’s furnace.
  No man receives the true culture of a man in whom the sensibility to the beautiful is not cherished; and I know of no condition in life from which it should be excluded. Of all luxuries this is cheapest and the most at hand; and it seems to me to be the most important to those conditions where coarse labor tends to give a grossness to the mind.
                        When I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discretest, best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded. Wisdom in discourse with her
Loses, discount’nanc’d, and like folly shows.
  Beauty of form affects the mind, but then it must be understood that it is not the mere shell that we admire; we are attracted by the idea that this shell is only a beautiful case adjusted to the shape and value of a still more beautiful pearl within. The perfection of outward loveliness is the soul shining through its crystalline covering.
Jane Porter.    
  Beauty has so many charms, one knows not how to speak against it; and when it happens that a graceful figure is the habitation of a virtuous soul, when the beauty of the face speaks out the modesty and humility of the mind, and the justness of the proportion raises our thoughts up to the heart and wisdom of the great Creator, something may be allowed it,—and something to the embellishments which set it off; and yet, when the whole apology is read, it will be found at last that beauty, like truth, never is so glorious as when it goes the plainest.
  Beauty is an all-pervading presence. It unfolds to the numberless flowers of the spring; it waves in the branches of the trees and the green blades of grass; it haunts the depths of the earth and the sea, and gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious stone. And not only these minute objects, but the ocean, the mountains, the clouds, the heavens, the stars, the rising and setting sun, all overflow with beauty.
                    Around her shone
The nameless charms unmark’d by her alone.
The light of love, the purity of grace,
The mind, the music breathing from her face,
The heart whose softness harmonized the whole,
And, oh! that eye was in itself a soul.
        Not faster in the summer’s ray,
The spring’s frail beauty fades away,
Than anguish and decay consume,
The smiling virgin’s rosy bloom.
Some beauty’s snatch’d each day, each hour;
For beauty is a fleeting flower;
Then how can wisdom e’er confide
In beauty’s momentary pride?
  There is a certain period of the soul-culture when it begins to interfere with some of the characters of typical beauty belonging to the bodily frame, the stirring of the intellect wearing down the flesh, and the moral enthusiasm burning its way out to heaven, through the emaciation of the earthen vessel; and there is, in this indication of subduing the mortal by the immortal part, an ideal glory of perhaps a purer and higher range than that of the more perfect material form. We conceive, I think, more nobly of the weak presence of Paul than of the fair and ruddy countenance of David.
        What’s female beauty but an air divine,
Through which the mind’s all gentle graces shine?
They, like the sun, irradiate all between;
The body charms because the soul is seen.
Hence men are often captives of a face—
They know not why—of no peculiar grace;
Some forms, though bright, no mortal man can bear;
Some none resist, though not exceeding fair.
        Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good,
A shining glass, that fadeth suddenly;
A flower that dies, when first it ’gins to bud;
A brittle glass, that’s broken presently;
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
Lost, faded, broken, dead within an hour.
And as good lost is seld or never found,
As fading gloss no rubbing will refresh,
As flowers dead lie wither’d on the ground,
As broken glass no cement can redress,
So beauty blemish’d once, for ever’s lost,
In spite of physic, painting, pain and cost.
        Ye tradeful merchants! that with weary toil,
Do seek most precious things to make you gaine,
And both the Indies of their treasures spoil;
What needeth you to seek so far in vain?
For lo! my love doth in herself contain
All this world’s riches that may far be found;
If saphyrs, lo! her eyes be saphyrs plain;
If rubies, lo! her lips be rubies sound;
If pearls, her teeth be pearls, both pure and round;
If ivory, her forehead’s ivory I ween;
If gold, her locks are finest gold on ground;
If silver, her fair hands are silver sheen;
But that which fairest is, but few behold,
Her mind, adorn’d with virtues manifold.
  Socrates called beauty a short-lived tyranny; Plato, a privilege of nature; Theophrastus, a silent cheat; Theocritus, a delightful prejudice; Carneades, a solitary kingdom; Domitian said, that nothing was more grateful; Aristotle affirmed that beauty was better than all the letters of recommendation in the world; Homer, that ’twas a glorious gift of nature, and Ovid, alluding to him, calls it a favor bestowed by the gods.
From the Italian.    
  Beauty depends more upon the movement of the face, than upon the form of the features when at rest. Thus a countenance habitually under the influence of amiable feelings, acquires a beauty of the highest order, from the frequency with which such feelings are the originating causes of the movement or expressions which stamp their character upon it.
Mrs. S. C. Hall.    

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.